Sugar has been produced since very ancient times and is the world’s most popular sweetener. Here are a few more facts about this high-energy and natural food additive:
- Climate. Sugar crystals were first produced centuries ago from sugarcane, a plant which grows best in warm temperate or tropical regions. Approximately 100 countries located within the tropics now grow sugarcane. In colder, northern regions, sugar can be produced using sugar beets.
- Health and Nutrition. Crystalline sucrose sugar is a carbohydrate, and moderate sugar intake can be part of a healthy diet. Sugar not only sweetens food and beverages, but also provides users with an instant jolt of energy. Humans should derive 50 to 55 percent of their daily energy consumption from carbohydrates.
- Brazilian Sugar. The Portuguese first planted sugarcane in Brazil during the 1530s. Since then, sugar has been an integral part of Brazil’s social, political and economic history. Brazil is now the world’s leading sugar producer and exporter, accounting for approximately 25 percent of global production and 50 percent of world exports. During the most recent harvest, national sugar output reached 38.2 million tons.
- Sugar Trade. Approximately two-thirds of the sugar produced in Brazil is destined for foreign markets. More than 100 countries around the world rely on sugar from Brazil with key export markets that include the Russian Federation, India, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Virtually all Brazilian exports are traded in a free-market environment. A few developed countries offer Brazil preferential import-quotas, but these amounts are extremely small compared to the total volume of Brazilian sugar sales.